26 Nov 19

Draw data from your fleet without investing in telematics

As today’s cars leave the factory entirely connected, one wonders if an additional telematics device is absolutely necessary. For parcel delivery and last mile applications, the answer is unquestionably yes, as the Fleet Europe Connected Fleets Conference in Brussels on January 28 will demonstrate.

For benefit car fleets, however, there are privacy-related obstacles. Company cars that are part of a salary package are difficult to equip with a fully-fledged telematics system, with GDPR, works councils and unions protecting the employees’ private use of the car.

Still, there is already a lot you can do with the built-in sim card and modem – two items that are mandatory in new cars since the introduction of eCall, the automatic communication system that shares the vehicle location, type and number of occupants with the emergency services.

We have gathered 5 types of data a modern car can provide you, either through a smartphone app, online reporting or an online platform provided by the OEM. The first three are not privacy-sensitive, the last two require the consent of the driver and possibly other internal stakeholders.

  1. Mileage. It is the cornerstone of fleet management. Keeping an eye on the odometer means you can take measures proactively.
  2. Vehicle status. Many OEMs give you insight in a vehicle’s oil condition, tyre pressure, the range left before the next service as well as any error messages.
  3. Fuel consumption. You can monitor your fleet’s fuel efficiency on a periodical basis and take corrective measures if necessary, e.g. driver coaching.
  4. Location. A car can tell you where it is located, making it easy to find it. In large multinational corporations vehicles sometimes ‘get lost’ after a driver change or other events.
  5. Accident. A number of vehicles can automatically warn you when they register a shock, for instance when they are parked and another vehicle hits them. Some even activate the outside cameras and register the event.

Most every car manufacturer is investing in the expansion of these integraded connected features. To learn how connectivity can help increase efficiency, read our article "Top 10 connectivity solutions for vehicle efficiency".



Authored by: Dieter Quartier